Real-time train arrival estimates that appear on platform countdown clocks on the L Subway Line are now available via the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) MTA Subway Time iPhone and Web app. The MTA is also now providing the data to app developers to include in third-party apps, which help with subway navigation.
The MTA launched the Subway Time app in December 2012 with real-time train arrival estimates showing the number of minutes away a train is due at each station on the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 subway lines as well as the 42nd Street Shuttle.
“’Know before you go’ — we like to repeat this catchy slogan because it is so much more helpful to have information with you before you get to our station than once you are already there,” said MTA Chairman Thomas F. Prendergast.
MTA Subway Time is designed to be quick to load and easy to use. The opening screen displays icons for the subway lines served by the app. Users can select a line to see all the stations it serves, and then select a station to see real-time arrival estimates for up to nine trains approaching that station from each direction. For simplicity, stations that serve multiple lines show all trains combined in a single list.
The arrival time estimates can be refreshed anytime by touching the icon in the upper right of the screen. The exact time the data was provided is displayed at the bottom of the screen.
The app is synchronized with the MTA’s website displaying planned service changes and real-time service disruptions. The MTA is evaluating how to best incorporate this real-time information into its point-to-point trip planning Web utility, Trip Planner +.